Letter to the Editor

Spay or neuter are the only options

Monday, January 17, 2011

To the Editor:

We can not kill our way out of over-pet population. Spay and neuter is the only way.

American Humane says it is safe to spay/neuter as early as eight weeks. However, be sure to check with your local vet before scheduling.

Benefits for females is the reduced risk of mammary cancer. Benefits for males is the reduced risk of unwanted territory marking and aggressive behavior.

Also, most small animals like cats and dogs can go into a heat cycle as early as five months, which increases the chances of unwanted pregnancy and increased over population in local shelters.

National euthanasia statistics are difficult to pinpoint, because animal care agencies are not required to keep records on the number of animals taken in, adopted, reclaimed or euthanized. In the most recent survey, only 1,000 shelters replied.

Of the 1,000, 4.3 million animals were handled and 64 percent were euthanized. That is 2.7 million in the 1,000 shelters alone. We all know there is well over 1,000 shelters in the world and the number of animals euthanized is staggering.

Fifty-six percent are dogs and 71 percent are cats. More cats are euthanized than dogs due to lack of identification. Only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats are reunited with their families.

Spay or neuter are the most important and biggest solutions to help prevent over population. Also having identification on your pet helps to ensure being reunited with them.

Clay County Humane supports the operation of low cost, spay-neuter clinics. Last month alone, 21 animals were adopted out. While on the other hand, 16 were brought in.

Special thanks to all who adopted. The shelter cannot do this alone. They need the help of responsible pet owners. There is no excuse for not having your pet spayed or neutered with all the programs out there that are available to you.

You may reach the shelter at 446-5126 for details.

It's very simple. Spay or neuter is the solution.

Thank you,

Sarah Workman,